Time is an important factor in our daily lives, and especially in the freelance world. As a freelancer, you’ll be getting several projects from your clients, all which have deadlines. Not unless you lay down firm time management strategies, you may end up with unmet deadlines, and consequently unhappy clients. Therefore, it pays to be disciplined when it comes to time management.
While staying focused is very crucial in the freelance world, many freelancers struggle with this. They encounter a ton of distractions while attending to a project or client, which may affect their overall productivity. The daily tasks seem unimportant in the face of all these distractions too, and that’s not healthy for any freelancer who seeking to thrive in their business. Fortunately, no freelancer is helpless in this matter. A perfect solution is to track time effectively. Time management is the best solution here. A good tool that helps you to stay on top of these distractions and remain focused is a monthly timesheet template. With the right tools like a monthly timesheet template, time management is a walk in the park.
How does the monthly timesheet template help? Let’s have a look below.
1. Maintain regular working hours with the monthly timesheet
Yes, it’s important for freelancers to operate within regular working hours. Working as though you’ve got all the time in the world isn’t healthy for you as a freelancer. You may end up working so hard yet achieving so little or getting behind schedule from time to time. Some tasks or projects may call for overtime though. That’s understandable as long as the overtime doesn’t make you a less focused consultant.
However, don’t make it a habit. As part of implementing effective time management in your freelance business. Freelancing offers you more leeway where your time is concerned. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay on top of the situation and preserve your health by scheduling your tasks like a normal 9-5 job, and with a monthly timesheet template, this is achievable.
It’s good to restrict yourself to around 40 working hours a week. While this may not always be possible, just make it a habit and only stretch when duty calls.
Use the timesheet template to monitor your business hours, and feel free to make changes whenever you realize you’re not managing your time properly.
2. Creating own workspace with the monthly timesheet
You may probably be wondering how the timesheet template influences workspace. Well, it does so by keeping you focused while at work. A good workspace is great for keeping you focused on everything you do. A good and proper workspace is devoid of the sort of distractions that can prevent you from doing your job. If you can’t afford to buy everything you need to improve the workspace, you should create a unique user account for work.
Of course, having a designated working area as a freelancer is necessary, but this isn’t enough. You need something like a monthly timesheet template to keep you on toes to help you meet tight deadlines, and perform the tasks at hand diligently. Just ensure you list down tasks in the timesheet starting with the most urgent and difficult ones, to make your planning and working easier.
3. Get rid of distractions with the monthly timesheet
Some distractions are poisonous to freelancing. Find ways of protecting yourself from all that. Keep yourself safe to increase your productivity as a freelancer. Protect yourself, the business, the integrity of the project you are working on, and the clients. The monthly timesheet template can help you understand how much time you spend on social media, texting, not-so-urgent emails, unproductive talks, and unnecessary multitasking.
Well, all these form part of our daily lives, but when it comes to work, you’ve got to put them aside for a moment. The 5 minutes you spend staring at your phone’s screen may culminate in an hour,and before you realize it, you’ll be working behind schedule. There’s a time for everything. So, make sure you take part in those miscellaneous activities after completing the main task. You can use the template to organize your time well, and have everything done at the right time.
4. Spare time for personal improvement with the monthly timesheet
Freelancers have to invest in themselves professionally. Spare some time away from handling the demanding clients’ projects and tasks. Give your brain small breaks during the day, week or month. Remember, you won’t gain much by spending hours upon hours working on your client’s project. You too need a break to relax and regain some energy to continue with the work. Again, sitting for long hours isn’t good for your body.
Therefore, instead of sitting behind your desk the whole day, take some time to engage in a leisure activity or take a stroll to stretch out your muscles. Capture the moment you dedicate on self-improvement on the timesheet template too. Are you reaching your goals? Are you spending adequate time on yourself? Or, are you too focused on pleasing clients while hurting yourself? Just by taking a quick look at your monthly timesheet template, one should be able to pick out this information.
5. Minimize interruptions with the monthly timesheet
Interruptions are different from distractions. However, they are equally destructive and disruptive. They keep you away from everything that you should focus on in your freelancing business. Therefore, learn to minimize these interruptions. Look at the monthly timesheet template to see whether it captured these interruptions and disruptions. Interruptions can take you away from your train of thought.
However, don’t ignore emergencies that may affect your work indirectly. You may just fall sick in the course of the day, or have to attend to a sick person. In such situations, prompt action is demanded, and that means putting every other thing aside.While you may not allocate time for such occurrences in your monthly timesheet template, make sure you address them as fast as you can and resume work immediately.
6. Take breaks with the monthly timesheet
Freelancers should never spend the entire 10 hours spent at work on clients’ projects. They should also spare some time for breaks. One of the reasons for going into freelancing is the chance it offers you to be your own boss. Being your own boss means you decide when to take breaks. The breaks could last a few minutes, days or weeks. It’s good to program yourself to do this to offer the brain and your entire body the opportunity for resting and recovery.
However, don’t take a whole day in the name of breaking from your freelance tasks. Set time for this too, and include it in your monthly timesheet template.
7. Pacing yourself with the monthly timesheet
Lastly, it’s crucial for consultants to pace themselves appropriately. Pacing means you’re never in a rush to complete the project because you never accorded it ample time from the start. Avoid getting bogged down on a single task the whole day.
Mix things up, unless you are currently short of work. It’s tempting to believe that you can have it all done at once, but remember, you’re human, and it may just be difficult to work beyond your limit. So, set the amount of work you are capable of handling each day or on an hourly basis. Plan the work for the entire month too, without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Use the monthly timesheet template to do all of the above.
Why should a manager within an organization use the monthly timesheet?
A monthly timesheet serves specific purposes. Two of its most important functions include proper project management and improved quality assurance. As you may be aware, employment relies mostly on delivering quality work. Managers need to know that they can expect quality in all projects you’re hired to handle. For these reasons, it’s important to understand the role that a monthly timesheet template plays in your business. You also have to know how to prepare a good timesheet that governs the work that takes place in your business each month.
1. The monthly timesheet saves time and money
The timesheet helps you to save two things: time and money. Business owners must be on top of everything that’s happening in their organizations. They can never afford to be ignorant or indifferent, especially where their employees are concerned, for even a second. That said, most of them have difficulties micromanaging the workers. A good tool to have is the monthly timesheet template. It does all the employee micromanaging the owners are unable to do because of other crucial responsibilities too.
You have a few options where employee tracking is concerned. The first option is to introduce the sort of devices that could make your employees feel uneasy. You could also opt to install performance trackers all over the office. CCTV and surveillance systems could also work here. These options are all fine, effective but too costly. A monthly timesheet, on the other hand, isn’t anywhere near as costly as these other alternatives. In this regard, it is likely to be just as effective while saving you a ton of money that your business needs.
2. The monthly timesheet is good for monitoring productivity
It’s important to note that monthly timesheet template also helps you to monitor productivity thus reducing or eliminating waste of time by your staff. Wasting time at work has grown into one of the biggest issues of our times. It is a growing epidemic. Solutions to this problem are required as quickly as possible. Otherwise, businesses would be at a great risk of collapsing. The timesheet would help you understand why and how your workforce seems to be wasting too much time at work. It’s easier to come up with solutions once you understand the problem.
3. The monthly timesheet makes you a better manager
As the owner of the business, a bit of empathy could make you a better leader. The monthly timesheet template provides the information that you can use to improve your leadership skills. This document gives you an understanding of the hours and effort your employees are putting in each month at work. Through it, you can identify the best workers and reward them accordingly. You can use this information to have a session with the less productive workers, so you understand the reasons for their not-so-impressive performances.
Do you run an agency? If yes, it would be good to know that timesheets can enable you to run it better. How does it do that? First, it makes you able to bill correctly. It empowers you to track the cost of each project. It provides some powerful insights and stats you can use to boost the productivity of the entire workforce. The timesheets encourage you to invest in excellent HR, which can then enable your business to save huge sums of money. That last sentence reinforces the money-saving aspect of the timesheet.
Let your employees know that you value the monthly timesheet template. Let them see you make decisions and implement strategies or introduce changes based on the data you obtain from the timesheet. The employees are likely to respond to the timesheet positively when they see you doing the same. The love for the timesheet template has to start from the top before it can spread to the entire office. Use it to introduce and reward honesty, transparency, productivity, hard work and innovation.